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 Post subject: Re: Poland and sex
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:22 am 
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Italian LGBT people among Europe's most discriminated
28 October 2014

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Italy performs badly on offensive language, jokes, legislation. (foto: EPA)

Brussels (ANSA) - People belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Italy are among the most discriminated in Europe, according to a study by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published Tuesday.

Some 54% of LGBT people in Italy said they suffered discrimination, putting the country ahead of only Lithuania, Croatia, Poland and Cyprus. Further, just 8% are always open about their sexual orientation as a result of the hostility, FRA said. Italy also performed badly with regard to the use by politicians of offensive language, everyday jokes and the absence of legislation upholding gay rights.

The study was presented on the occasion of the first-ever high-level EU conference on LGBT rights called by the current Italian presidency of the Council of the EU in Brussels. "The EU has a clear responsibility to promote equality, respect and tolerance for everyone, including LGBT people," said Italian Reforms Undersecretary Ivan Scalfarotto. "With this important conference the Italian Presidency wants to show its commitment to working with our EU partners to combat LGBT discrimination and build a more inclusive society for all."

"Too often, too many LGBT people face discrimination and hostility for simply being themselves," said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. "The tide is changing and there has been positive momentum in many Member States. We must build on this. As the new European Parliament and Commission take office, the time is now ripe to put equality and non-discrimination of LGBT people back on the EU's agenda".

Source: ANSA.

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 Post subject: Re: Poland and sex
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:21 am 
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Poland elects first openly gay mayor in elections
1 December 2014
By VANESSA GERA

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In this Nov. 28, 2014 photo, lawmaker Robert Biedron, Poland’s first openly gay lawmaker, speaks to the Associated Press at the parliament building in Warsaw, Poland.
(AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- Robert Biedron already made history once in Poland by becoming the first openly gay lawmaker in parliament in 2011. On Monday, he became the country's first openly gay mayor.

The 38-year-old's political successes are a marker of how quickly this deeply conservative and Catholic country has changed in the decade since it joined the European Union. Back then, in 2004, gay rights marches were still being banned and homosexuality was treated as a huge taboo. Since then a growing acceptance of gays and lesbians has arrived hand-in-hand with a flourishing economy.

"I see how fast Polish society has learned its lesson of tolerance," Biedron told the Associated Press in an interview two days before he was elected Sunday to be mayor of Slupsk, a city near the Baltic Sea in northern Poland. "So I am very optimistic and happy with Polish society - and proud."

But it's not just him. In what the Polish media are calling "the Biedron effect," a record number of candidates also came out publicly before the local elections, which took place in two rounds over the last two weeks. None of the others won seats, but gay rights activists are still hugely encouraged by the change. Their poor showing can be attributed largely to the fact that they were mostly young first -time candidates with left wing parties, which saw little support.

"These people have enormous courage, in my opinion," said Mariusz Kurc, editor of a Polish gay advocacy magazine, Replika, who believes that the vast majority of political candidates in Poland still hide their identity. He tells a story that shows the speed of the change. Before 2011 elections, he used his magazine's Facebook page to call on gay candidates still in the closet to come out. None did. But this time around, people started writing in to say they would be happy to be publicly identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Nearly 20 had come out by election day. "This was record breaking," Kurc said.

Kurc's group included Joanna Erbel, a Warsaw mayoral candidate who spoke out about being bisexual four days before the first round of voting on Nov. 16. Representing the small Green party, she won less than 3 percent of the vote and was eliminated from a runoff, but she doesn't believe that being bisexual was a factor either way.

Biedron, an independent who was named one of the country's best lawmakers this year by the weekly magazine Polityka, represents a cultural shift in other ways too. He inherits a city that is one of the most indebted in Poland and has pledged to transform it by cleaning up city hall and reviving the moribund economy with investments in green energy. He is vowing to live modestly, saying he will forego the traditional perk of a luxury car and chauffeur in favor of public transportation and bicycle.

To his surprise, that plan hasn't always gone over well. "Many people approach me and say, `no, the mayor of the city must have a nice car and a driver,'" he said. "They think you must underline your importance." During the campaign, he also got out onto the streets to talk to the voters, something that surprised people used to only seeing candidates on campaign billboards or in televised interviews.

And he is finding support in unlikely places.

He attended a local soccer match during the campaign and was heckled with homophobic slurs. After the first round, he was by chance approached by one of the men who shouted the insults. "He said, `of eight candidates you were the only one we didn't expect, but you were the only one who came to our game. You have courage, so we voted for you,'" Biedron recalled.

Source: AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Poland and sex
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:58 am 
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Poland’s first openly gay mayor takes power
7th December 2014
by Nick Duffy

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Robert Biedron has taken office as Poland' first openly gay mayor

Poland’s first ever openly gay mayor Robert Biedron has officially taken up his office.

Earlier this week Mr Biedron gathered 57% of the ballot (15,308 votes), to become the mayor of Slupsk, which boasts 90,000 residents. The 38 year old beat other candidates, including Zbigniew Konwinski, of the ruling who received 42.92% of the vote in a fierce campaign in which he endured being called, among other things, a “faggot”.

His victory came as a surprise to some, as he only received 20.34% of the vote in the first round, coming second. Speaking at his swearing-in ceremony at Slupsk City Hall yesterday, he told AFP: “Poland is changing, it’s undergoing a large transformation. Poland will continue to open up.”

Poland is deeply Catholic and one of the most conservative countries in Europe – but there have been signs of progress in recent years.

Mr Biedron is well known for having set up and run Poland’s Campaign Against Homophobia, and in 2011 became the first openly gay MP for the Gdynia-Slupsk constituency. He said he would move to Slupsk, but that he would not require use of the three limousines made available to the mayor, as he travels by bike.

Source: PinkNews.

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 Post subject: Re: Poland and sex
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:58 pm 
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Gay rights parade held in Poland ruled by conservative government
3 June 2017

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- Thousands of people marched and danced down the streets of central Warsaw on Saturday to show their support for gay rights, calling for stronger defiance of discrimination and greater acceptance for same-sex unions and marriages.

The 17th annual "Equality Parade" took place with a deeply conservative government that opposes marriage rights or civil unions for same-sex couples ruling Poland. Some 40 foreign embassies, including those of France and the United States, expressed their support for the parade.

Police estimated that about 13,000 people took part in the event, which is meant as a demonstration of tolerance not only for gays and lesbians, but also people with disabilities and other marginalized groups. Organizers said 50,000 took part. Participants carried balloons and the rainbow flags that are the symbol of LGBT rights. One banner read: "Homophobia causes heart illness."

At one point, several far-right nationalists tried to block the parade but were removed by police. Gays and lesbians continue to face significant discrimination in the mostly Catholic country, a legacy of the church's stance and decades of repressive communism. While cities such as Warsaw have grown more tolerant as contacts have increased with the West, most gay and lesbian couples are still too afraid to walk down the streets holding hands.

Source: AP

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 Post subject: Re: Poland and sex
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:27 pm 
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Polish police use tear gas to protect gay rights march
By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA
13 October 2018

WARSAW (AP) — Polish police used tear gas and a water cannon Saturday against right-wing extremists who were trying to block the first equality parade in the city of Lublin in eastern Poland.

More than 1,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights activists with rainbow-colored flags and banners gathered Saturday in Lublin for the parade, while around 300 right-wing opponents stood in the march’s way. Police used tear gas, concussion grenades and high-pressured water to disperse them. The right-wing protesters pelted police with stones and dispersed, but some small groups tried to get through the police cordon that was protecting the march.

The colorful parade then proceeded undisturbed. The march took place after Lublin’s Court of Appeals on Friday overruled a ban by Mayor Krzysztof Zuk, who had cited security concerns as his reason for banning the parade.

Gay rights parades have been taking place for years in Warsaw, the capital, and many other cities in predominantly Catholic Poland, but the ruling conservative party is not supportive of gay rights groups.

Source: AP

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